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SYNOPSIS

When questioned about his belief in an after life, Branko resolutely rejects the possibility. »From ashes I come and from ashes I go,« he explains. Branko is on his last mortal journey. Neither the day nor the manner of departure is known to him. He only knows that soon he will die.

At sixty-three, Branko has been diagnosed with a lung cancer advanced enough for there to be no possibility of successful treatment, and has abruptly been moved into an end-of-life facility. The hospice where he is to spend the short remainder of his life is a place for dying, but one that proves not to be filled exclusively by pain and suffering.

During his last weeks, Branko makes the final arrangements for the short period following his death. He also attempts to appreciate as much as possible the days that he has left. In the company of nurses and his friend Herbert, he works to relish life while still reflecting on the process of his rapid deterioration, his imminent death and its aftermath. His lingering enjoyment of life emerges at such moments as his final attendance of a concert, a local female choral recital, while he gradually formalizes his last wishes, such as that his corpse bear a black suit at his memorial service.

With no prediction of how long he has left, Branko waits for the unknown to arrive. While riding the highs and lows of his unpredictable emotional and physical state, he celebrates another birthday and sees his son for the last time. His wrestling with the idea of the world going on without him emerges in Branko’s conversations with Herbert and through his new hobby, painting. Eventually the uncertain but expected date arrives and the process of laying Branko’s body to rest begins.

THE LAST CHAPTER follows Branko in his final days and moments with calm reserve and visual precision as it offers an experience of his preparation to venture onto that ultimate unknown territory. The Last Chapter is an examination of human finitude, and a film about the hope of leaving behind something that remains.

 

 

 

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